14 Foods to Avoid on the Pritikin Principle

The Pritikin eating plan is all about choosing optimal healthy foods that are essential for healthy living. Calorie counting on this diet is based on a pound of food. This ‘per pound’ calorie counting method distinguishes foods as dense in calories, medium in calories and low in calorie foods. The Pritikin eating plan emphasizes unrefined foods and less processed plant foods that include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and peas, along with moderate amount of fish and non fatty dairy products such as soy.

The Pritikin eating plan categories foods as: Recommended, In Moderation, Caution and Stop. The caution and stop categories are those foods that come under the ‘To Avoid’ list. Here are 14 foods to avoid while on this plan:

1. Refined Oils and Fats

These fall under dense-calories, so not to be consumed more than 1 teaspoon per 1000 calorie.

2. Alcoholic beverages

Half to one drink per day for women and 1 to 2 drinks per day for men are permissible, but anything more than this measure is not recommended. And, a drink measure is based on ounces, like 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer.

3. Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup 

Most of the healthy no fat foods also contain corn syrup. Some of them are yogurt, ready-made cereals, 100 calorie snack packs, low calorie ice creams, lite salad dressings, honey wheat bread, cinnamon roll, sweet peppers, marbled rye roll, yeast rolls, grape jelly, cookie crumbs, bottled lemonade, multigrain bagels, fat free Italian dressings and blue cheese dressings.

4. Salty and High Sodium Foods

Salty condiments and high sodium foods are to be completely avoided. They include foods like pickles, smoked foods, salted nuts and salty snacks. Any food that has more than 1 gm of sodium per calorie is to be avoided.

5. Refined Grain Foods

Foods that contain refined grains, such as white bread, white rice and white pasta, should be avoided on this eating plan.

6. Processed Refined Oils and Tropical Oils

Oils that are considered processed refined oils and tropical oils are: palm kernel oil, coconut oil, palm oil, lard, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and rice oil.

7. Animal Fats

Butter, cocoa butter, chicken fat, margarine and mayonnaise should all be avoided on the Pritikin Principle.

8. Meats

Meats to be avoided include organ meats, fatty meats such as beef, steak, pork and goat and processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, bologna and sausages.

9. Diary Products

Any dairy products that are not low in sodium and fat free are to be avoided. These include cream, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, ice cream, milk and yogurt.

10. Nuts

Nuts such as cashew nuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and even coconut should be avoided.

11. Salt substitutes

All foods that contain potassium chloride, which is a salt substitute, should be avoided.

12. Dense Calorie Foods

Categories of foods that fall under dense calorie foods are:  deep fried foods even fried fish, eggs and egg yolks, chocolates, desserts, pastries, whipped toppings, breads, fat-free muffins, bagels, corn chips, potato chips, potato salad, fat-free crackers, donuts, cookies, French fries, croissants, pretzels, croutons, ketchup, Blueberry French toast sticks, ready-made sauces, granola bars and other energy bars. 

13. Non Alcoholic Beverages

Smoothies, soft drinks and aerated drinks should be avoided, unless they are diet drinks such as diet coke.

14. Dressings

Dressings used in burgers and pastas should be avoided, unless they are low fat dressings. 


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